Saturday, October 27, 2007

George. See George. See George play. Today.

George Foley at Cleveland Public Library Special Collections & Fine Arts Blog -- I've known George Foley for a good many years, but never knew about the albums. When he's not performing, he's quiet and unassuming, at least when I've been around him. His dad, Joe, talked with the MeetTheBloggers crew in May of 2006. We'll be be making a special point of going to see George this afternoon at 2. Here's the info from the site.

George Foley at Cleveland Public Library

Cleveland Public Library Fine Arts & Special Collections Department presents George Foley, pianist and singer, performing ragtime and popular songs by Charles L. Johnson, Scott Joplin, Zez Confrey, Fats Waller, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Frank Loesser, and others on Saturday, October 27, 2007 at 2 p.m. Foley is a dexterous pianist and entertaining singer. His singing might remind you of Fats Waller, Jack Teagarden or Mildred Bailey.

Foley has recorded four albums including Cleveland Rag (1977), I Love It (1984), Smiles and Kisses (1989), and ‘S Wonderful (2003). He has played on the Mississippi Queen steamboat and at many ragtime festivals. He performs regularly at many clubs around Cleveland including NightTown, The Barking Spider, and The Tavern Co. He also works with the Mercuries and the Night Owls.

This musical program will be on Saturday, October 27, 2007 at 2 p.m. in the 3rd floor lobby of the Fine Arts & Special Collections Department at the Main Library, 325 Superior Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44114. For information call (216) 623-2848.

This program is presented in conjunction with Sentimental Journey: Selections from the Cleveland Public Library Sheet Music Collection, a display located on the third floor of the Main Library. The display features highlights from the library's sheet music collection of over 20,000 titles.


  1. Tim, when I was a VW Beetle apprentice mechanic near University Circle in the mid-70's, a part of my training was to go home after 9-10 hour days, clean up, and meet my boss at a range of live music venues. Here I first saw Mr. Stress, Pere Ubu/ Crocus Behemoth, Deadly Earnest and the Honky Tonk Heroes, Vicki Chew and a new wunderkind shaking things up at Night Town, George Foley.

    My boss recorded George's and Mr. Stress' first albums at a house on Terrace. I had worked on the Foley family's yellow rabbit, Stress' orange Bug and other musician's cars and a part of the training was to see these vehicles as a part of people's lives and livelihood. (Stress has never stopped busting my balls about a rookie tune-up I did that lowered his Beetle mileage by 1/2, a valuable learning experience for me.)

    I am of the opinion that George Foley is a regional treasure, a storehouse of knowledge and musical prowess around a Golden Age of music. He should have a radio show, well compensated, pre-recorded and broadcast on local college radio and internet. I don't have the chops or time to pull this together, but there are those around here that do, Ohio Art Council grant, 91.1?

    It is a musical and historical event to hear George comment on the jazz era's music and musicians, then play, then continue speaking. I would by an I-pod thing if this show was to materialize, I think the kids listen to music on those things,yes?

    Oh, and you can hear Stress most Sunday's at Cebar's on 185th.

  2. Couldn't agree more about the "regional treasure" aspect of George. I wonder if podcasting would be appropriate, as with MTB?

    Isn't it marvelous how we all interconnect and overlap, here in this small town?

  3. OMG, Phil I LOVED Mr. Stress and his Blues Band. He played at the little brick house at the corner of Mayfield and Euclid. It's now a parking Lot. What time do they play on Sundays? I would love to hear them again.

    George is truly a wealth of knowledge about ragtme and the jazz era but more importantly he does justice to the music when he plays. he is a multitalented and multifaceted guy. And yes, we do need to find a way for him to reach more people in our region and beyond.

    Tim and I didn't know the foleys during the yellow rabbit years, but what a delightful group they are.

    On the tune-up causing decreases issue. I had a 76 VW and had it tuned up at Parma Motors before venturing on to FL for spring break. 70 miles down I-71 my little VW needed gas. Something was seriously wrong. I knew there was a VW dealer on RT 83 on the way to Wooster (my hometown) so we pulled over and took a detour.
    The VW mechanics were nonplussed that something like that had happened and I was getting an Oh well, from Parma Moters. The service manager says give me the phone. Essentially he told the guy in not too nice of language that his mechancs had really screwed up, he was going to fix it, and they were going to pay.

    Within three hours I was on my way to Fl and the vacation from hell.

    Thanks for the memories!

  4. Tim,
    My kids boy scout troop 211 is going to see George Foley tonight at Rocky River Public Libary. After reading your blog--I think the kids are going to have a blast(and so are the adults)
    Thanks so much--
    Ruthie Koenigsmark
    (LakewoodisArtcom and

  5. Ruthie, it's really good to see blogged material get some traction. Say HI! to George for Tim and Gloria.